Organizational Core values are not just the danglers or buzzwords that are hung on a wall. They have a far greater purpose and are a driving force in shaping up the company’s culture. On an individual level, values are an internal compass that navigates how an individual takes decision in life. Personal values are the inner guide that describe what is most important to an individual. However, in a professional set up,when employees make decisions in their own area of work, the kind of decision they make however big or small; that is a reflection of their values. Therefore, it is important that organizational core values be well defined and embedded into the company culture and trickle into employee’ day to day actions. The established values dictate which behaviour is appreciated and which are unacceptable affecting the way business is done.
We as an organization has ensured to define our five core values i.e. Empathy, Integrity, Responsibility, Unity and Pioneering as a non-negotiable behavioural underpinning for every employee. They are the guiding principles that define how employees should interact and treat each other as well as company’s customers and clients. For e.g. Empathy as a value promotes the behaviour of understanding the other person’s perspective and especially in a healthcare business its significance is paramount i.e. to exhibit care and compassion towards all stakeholders. Similar Integrity as a value dictates the essence that all our actions should be governed by the principles of ethics, honesty and transparency.
From the human resource perspective, it serves as a blueprint for employees’ behaviour and conduct. The five core values that forms the ethos and organizational value system is used in Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Talent Development and Employee Conduct.
Values are inculcated in the hiring process to help bring people on board who feel a natural resonance with the company’s objectives. These values are often used to frame behavioural interview questions while hiring. Candidates are called as cultural fits when the company’s set core values matchand resonates with the candidate’s own beliefs and values. We also use them during performance evaluation and recognition. Also, when an employee’s behaviour fails to meet expectations, it is the core valuesthat we use for corrective actions.
In order to bring these core values into live action in everyday business operations and imprint in the minds of employees, managers have to play a significant role. So, here are some propositions to bring in core values to work:
- Reiterate the core values and behavioural expectations from your team in your meetings. Most of the time, we tend to focus on the processes and people that need improvement at the expense of recognizing the things that are going well. But one of the best ways to support those we manage is to point out the good things they do. Taking the opportunity during a morning meeting to point out how an employee exhibited unwavering adherence to one of your Core Values while interacting with a patient or another employee is easy to do. It’s also the right thing to do, and it serves as reinforcement that your Values matter.
- Communicate and support the values to all team members. Use these values in your day to day language while interacting with your team members or while giving feedback. Explain them why and how they are important.
- Guide your team members to make operational decisions based on company’s core values. Try to centrethe Mission, Vision and values around your team and create a sense of unity. As the company through it’s core values communicate to the external stakeholders what it stands for, therefore it is important for the team leads to communicate and guide team members to exhibit these values and align with organizational intent and value system.
- Spend time to understand your team members embeddedpersonal values and try to align them to company’s values. Try to make it meaningful for them and ensure the same is reflected in their behaviour.
- Establish your team’s mission and vision based on company core values. Holding employees to company’s behavioural standard will help shape the way they do their jobs. When organizational values are enforced, it will also inspire employees to hold themselves to a higher standard.
As we navigate our way through these turbulent times, it is more important than ever to stay true to ourcore values. Unfortunately, when a crisis hits, a company’s immediate response to the crisis and it’s values often appear to go in separate directions. But we must understand that these core values are management tools that help keep us all aligned and focused towards the common organizational objective. Let us together contribute to the overall success of the company and live up to the cultural standards that we stand for because it is our Values that define who we are.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are”
- Roy Disney